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Subject:

RAIN 613 Ohio Open Records Audit

From:

Peter Kurilecz <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 14 Jun 2004 09:25:55 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (164 lines)

Akron Beacon Journal
Posted on Sat, Jun. 12, 2004
How the public records audit was
conducted
TOM GAUMER
Associated Press
CLEVELAND - Work on an audit of Ohio's public records started when a committee of the Ohio Coalition
for Open Government decided it wanted to gauge access to public records.
The coalition last fall appointed Tom O'Hara, managing editor of The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, and Tom
Gaumer, editor of computer-assisted reporting for The Plain Dealer, to lead the effort. The coalition was
formed by the Ohio Newspaper Association, a trade organization established in 1933 that represents 83
daily and 163 weekly newspapers.
http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/news/state/8908999.htm?1c



Akron Beacon Journal
Posted on Sat, Jun. 12, 2004
Survey finds officials provided
about one of every two public
records sought
ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS
Associated Press
Joanne Huist Smith walked into the Eaton Police
Department in southwestern Ohio and asked to
see the most recent police reports. The record
clerk turned her down.
"He said, 'It's just too much of a headache. There
are too many,'" said Smith, a Dayton Daily News
reporter who helped conduct a statewide survey
on the availability of public records in Ohio.
http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/news/state/8908979.htm?


Marietta Times
Your right to know: Open records law
compliance varies
By Jessica Burchard, [log in to unmask]
The Marietta Times found that three Washington County public offices made
records available to the public only half the time even though state law
requires that they be available at all times.
http://www.mariettatimes.com/news/story/0612202004_new02righttomain.asp



Newark Advocate
Public records can aid everyone
By ERIK JOHNS
Advocate Reporter
NEWARK -- Various media outlets recently
executed a statewide audit to determine
accessibility of Ohio public records.
Six records were carefully chosen by legal
experts for their clarity, accessibility and
statistical reliability in all of Ohio's 88
counties. Because of these demands, most
of those records do not contain information
that people might need.
http://www.newarkadvocate.com/news/stories/20040613/localnews/636313.htm



Cleveland Plain Dealer
Open records? In Ohio, it's hit or miss
Sunday, June 13, 2004
Tom Breckenridge
Plain Dealer Reporter
Employees in city halls, police stations and school boards across Ohio
followed state law only half the time when asked for public documents, a
recent open-records test found.
Ohio's records law requires timely access to public records, without undue
hassle. But in late April, journalists often faced possessive public officials who
wanted to know who they were and why they needed the information. The
journalists, collaborating for a statewide survey, did not identify themselves
unless asked.
http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/1087127701110610.xml

http://snipurl.com/72g3


Zanesville Times Recorder
Public record requests in cities, villages
denied more than 20 percent of the time
By KELLI YOUNG
The (Canton) Repository
Kathy Thompson, the clerk-treasurer in McConnelsville, will provide any requested
public records: budget sheets, personnel files, payroll numbers.
Just don't stop by on Mondays. Or Wednesdays. Or on days that she takes
vacation time.
Thompson has those days off -- and the only key to the file cabinets that hold the
records.
http://www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com/news/stories/20040613/localnews/634764.html (



Toledo Blade
Article published Sunday, June 13, 2004
Instant access to records rare in Michigan
By KIM BATES
BLADE STAFF WRITER
ADRIAN - Adrian police Chief Mike Martin says he regularly makes
improvements when it comes to complying with public record rules in Michigan.
So he was troubled when he learned that his office somehow neglected to
respond to a public records law request in April, something that's required by
state law.
"I'm disappointed we didn't do things in keeping with the statute," the chief said
this week.
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040613/NEWS08/406130367/-1/NEWS



Toledo Blade
Article published Sunday, June 13, 2004
Walbridge police scrutinize 'suspicious'
document-seeker
By JOE MAHR
BLADE STAFF WRITER
To Walbridge Police Chief Lance Martin, there was something suspicious about
the woman who had just left the village offices.
She had asked to see a record showing the police chief's salary. She had asked
where the police station was. She had asked to see the last shift's police reports.
And, when he introduced himself, she offered only her first name.
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040613/NEWS08/406130342/-1/NEWS



Newark Advocate
Hottinger concerned with noncompliance
of open records law
By JIM SIEGEL
Columbus News Bureau
COLUMBUS -- Saying there's "no excuse" for public officials to deny access to
public records, Sen. Jay Hottinger said the Legislature may need to look at an
overhaul of the law.
"People ought to be able to have unfettered access to these records," the Newark
Republican said, reacting to a recent statewide public records audit.
"It's discouraging to hear some counties and subdivisions have been making
things difficult for people."
http://www.newarkadvocate.com/news/stories/20040613/localnews/636337.html (



Toledo Blade
Article published Sunday, June 13, 2004
'Trivial' court rulings lead to many exceptions
By KELLY LECKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Rulings by the Ohio Supreme Court, particularly in the last decade, have limited
access to documents once available under the state's public record law, media
law experts said.
In some cases, the decisions were made to protect the privacy of people
involved.
But the rulings led to widespread exceptions in the law, according to David
Marburger, a Cleveland attorney who has represented media outlets in public
records cases.
"The facts of the case are trivial," he said. "The law that it made is gigantic."
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040613/NEWS08/406130341/-1/NEWS



Peter A. Kurilecz CRM, CA
Richmond, Va
[log in to unmask]

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